Novartis Financial Results – Q2 2019

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , /

I’m here with some colleagues from the Executive Committee of Novartis to tell you about our Q2 earnings and answer some of your top questions. We had another outstanding quarter from an innovation perspective, from an operating performance and financial performance perspective. I look forward to telling you more more in a few moments. One of the big breakthroughs I think we all were excited about this quarter was Zolgensma®, the first systemic gene therapy for a neurological condition, really bringing new life for children with this devastating condition. Now that’s part of the battle but now of course it’s getting access to patients all around the world. And I think we’re making great progress on that front and we were able to treat actually the first child after licensure within two weeks. It’s exciting that we have a second one-time treatment approved. On Kymriah® I think also there we make good progress. We have now 19 countries approved for reimbursement for Kymriah and probably the proudest day last quarter was that we have treated 1 000 patients with Kymriah now. And we are just coming back John and myself from ASCO. We had a great conference. We presented survival data for Kisqali®. In addition, we got Piqray® approved. So, another very important product for Oncology and we are off to a good start. It’s also been a very exciting time for Pharma, we’ve seen many more patients worldwide get access to Cosentyx® and Entresto®. When we think about Ophthalmology, we just had the acquisition of Xiidra® and we know dry eye disease affects millions of people worldwide. So that will definitely strengthen our portfolio. It was a major breakout quarter for us too overall, I mean we had two approvals in one day Zolgensma and Piqray, I think that was the first time in my career that I had two approvals in one day and continue with a number of submissions. We had submissions for SEG101, for crizanlizumab, which is for sickle cell disease. We had submission for brolucizumab in Japan. I thought this quarter was another big one for us in terms of innovation. So really incredible all around. So in Oncology we have two of these platforms, cell and gene and a radioligand. But what positions us uniquely is that we really are represented in all four platforms that are currently used to treat cancer. So we have also targeted therapy and immunotherapies. And what our teams are suggesting now that we combine through these modalities. We’ve made significant strides in terms of advancing our pipeline and all four of these therapies and we’re looking at it globally. It’s really exciting with Zolgensma now we are continuing to progress with the filing in EU, the filing in Japan. We’ve invested in another large-scale facility in Colorado, on top of the facilities we have in Chicago and in North Carolina. So, I think we’re really delivering on our ambition to build global scale in one-time therapies. And I look forward to seeing what comes next in the pipeline. So, it’s an exciting era we’re starting. The second half is just as heavy if not heavier in terms of data readouts. First, we have Entresto in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. In fact it’s the same size of population as heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. In addition to that we have fevipiprant. This is a major breakthrough for us in terms of an oral treatment. And then thirdly would be in the area of multiple sclerosis, we have ofatumumab reading out. So, this would be our third agent for multiple sclerosis and a potential another filing. We are now focusing on Piqray, really focusing on screening and diagnostics. Then thanks to the submission we are now preparing for SEG101, get ready there. One very exciting data point is the readout of triplet combination of Mekinist®, Tafinlar® plus PDR001 later this year in melanoma. As you said John it’s going to be a very exciting time for Pharma in the second half of the year. So, we’re starting to see the initial market data from Mayzent® looking positive. When we talk about ofatumumab as you just mentioned we’re really excited about the Phase 3 data readout. And we really believe that in relapsing multiple sclerosis it potentially could be best in class. Last but not least with fevipipirant we’ve got a great drug that potentially can help patients with uncontrolled asthma. So super exciting, we’re going to be very busy in the second half of the year. The other thing that’s I think becoming a big part of our story is our ability to bring these medicines to populations all around the world. We have our access commitment, we’ve launched a major initiative in Ghana to tackle sickle cell disease and bring innovations like SEG101 to Ghana. And we continue to advance our malaria program where we have committed to invest over 100 million dollars to the next wave of anti-malarial therapies. So, a lot going on in the innovation and the access front at the company. So, as you can imagine it’s been a very very intense but very exciting couple of weeks. And one thing I can say is that there is so much excitement about our portfolio and our pipeline and that’s very energizing because people are just seeing the opportunities and I can honestly say what really energizes me the most is the connection to our mission and to our purpose. And it’s just great to see how people are committed, not only to broadening, but also to accelerating access to our innovation. That’s just fantastic. Also that’s what I see when I travel to the countries, this tremendous energy and this great spirit to make things better, to move innovation and to really reach our purpose to reimagine medicine. One of the initiatives that we took on within Global Drug Development was what we call the 10 000 Day Challenge trying to free up 10 000 days so that we could put it back into innovation and develop more drugs. And you know 10 000 days is 30 years and we were able to achieve that in four months. So tremendous accomplishment and I just want to thank the entire team for being able to do that. You know when I look across the whole company what I sense is just this tremendous energy, there’s an energy behind the purpose, there’s an energy behind the culture and that’s creating this momentum that’s just really allowing us to drive incredible innovation, incredible performance and most importantly getting our medicines to more and more patients. So, I think a big thank you to all of the associates for all of they are doing. I mean it’s really incredible to see.

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